Shaunie Wheeler James Joins MLK Labor
July 10, 2023
Former Teamsters Joint Council 28 Political and Legislative Director Shaunie Wheeler James has joined the MLK Labor staff taking on the role of Deputy Executive Secretary-Treasurer.
Shaunie will work side-by-side with Executive Secretary-Treasurer Katie Garrow to run Washington’s largest CLC in this new role. Her work will focus heavily on building relationships with affiliate unions, modernizing and developing our local labor movement to attract the next generation of unionists, and building power for workers through politics, community relationships, and direct action.
Shaunie brings a wealth of experience as a Union Activist with over 15 years in the field. Prior to joining MLK Labor, she served as the Political and Legislative Director for Teamsters Joint Council 28, supporting 12 locals across Washington State, Idaho, and Alaska. Her work combined politics, messaging, and public policy. She spearheaded the union’s state and local legislative and electoral programs, advocating for workers’ rights and ensuring their voices are heard.
Throughout her career, Shaunie has remained committed to the cause of social justice, recognizing the interconnectedness of various struggles. As Audre Lorde eloquently stated, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” With this ethos in mind, she has consistently integrated a lens of social justice into her work, firmly believing that workers’ rights are human rights.
In addition to her role at Teamsters, Shaunie is the President and founding member of the Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders (WA YELL). Together with fellow young activists, she endeavors to create an inclusive, accessible, and relevant labor movement in today’s society. Through WA YELL, Shaunie provides future leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen their roles within their unions and communities. Her dedication to labor advocacy has been recognized through her election as Vice President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO in 2017. She also serves as Secretary-Treasurer for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement to support Latinx and BIPOC workers across the Pacific Northwest.
Outside of her advocacy work, Shaunie enjoys exploring local vintage stores in search of #lobbylicious outfits. She also enjoys leisure activities with her husband and 4 children, such as watching the latest Marvel films.
Please join us in welcoming Shaunie Wheeler James to MLK Labor!